View Full Version : [xubuntu] "Only root can mount" for USB drives

May 3rd, 2008, 02:35 AM
After upgrading to Xubuntu 8.04, Xubuntu stopped mounting some of my USB drives when I plugged them in. It always gave me this error message "Only root can mount...".

I tried a lot of things inc. reformatting. Funnily, the USB drives all worked without a problem on Kubuntu.

Here is how I solved it:

I opened a "Terminal" (found in Applications/Accesories), typed "sudo mousepad" and used Mousepad to open "fstab" (etc/fstab). You should see a red bar in Mousepad giving you a warning about the dangers of editing stuff as "root".

I found these 2 lines in "fstab":

/dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1 vfat defaults 0 0
/dev/sdd1 /media/sdd1 vfat defaults 0 0

From reading other posts, I realise that my USB devices are also called sdb1, sdc1 etc. You can type "sudo fdisk -l" to see what drives are attached where.

Back in Mousepad, I added "#" in front of both those lines.

# /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1 vfat defaults 0 0
# /dev/sdd1 /media/sdd1 vfat defaults

Save the file (don't worry, putting "#" in front is pretty safe - if you need to revert back to the original, just remove "#" and everything will be as before) and REBOOT. When I plugged in the USB drive, it worked like a charm!

Now, if you get problems with writing to the drive once you plug it in, open a "Terminal" and type "sudo Thunar". Now right-click on the USB drive in Thunar (the drive icon is on the left) and click "Properties". Now change "Permission" to "read & write" for all 3 options.

Note: I am not a programmer nor do I know much about the internal workings of Ubuntu. I am just the average Ubuntu freak who has Ubuntu installed in my office PC, Kubuntu installed in my wife's PC and Xubuntu installed in my notebook.

October 6th, 2008, 08:52 AM
i know this is an old thread, but thank you, mount is now working for my usb flashdrives on ubuntu eee.